Georges Hannouche, CEO of Bayanat Airports and Engineering Supplies (BAES) and the Arab world’s leading aviation veteran, has called for the establishment of an Arabian Gulf body on the line of EUROCONTROL for air traffic management keeping in view the ceaseless expansion of airlines fleet and airports.
“The aviation industry in the Gulf region faces two major hurdles. There has to be better coordination among the civil aviation authorities and regulators. The other is the need for the creation of a Gulf-wide body equal to EUROCONTROL with the involvement of all stakeholders and regulators,” he said on the sidelines of the Airport Show of which BAES has been a regular participant since the past 15 years of its running.
“The UAE has taken the lead towards making this a reality. Air traffic has recorded phenomenal growth in the past few years and the future scenario is no different. This calls for a unified and coordinated efforts at the regional level for ATM,” he added.
EUROCONTROL, he said, has proved to a success story in managing and regulating the air traffic in Europe through a variety of initiatives and programmes like SESAR. The creation of Gulf Control will be the first right step towards effectively managing the skies in fastest growing aviation markets. Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) has earlier this year signed a deal with EUROCONTROL which will help in bringing about better results in air traffic management in the region, he added.
He also underscored the need for better management of operations and performance of airports in the region taking into account the huge increase in the volume of passengers and cargo handled by them.
The Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) has proved to be hugely effective and successful towards this end and more Middle East airports should adopt A-CDM, he added. New technologies are playing and will continue to play a key role in the airport and air traffic management, said Hannouche whose company has been working over the years with the key airports in the UAE and other parts of the region.
BAES has recently completed the LIDAR and FOD projects for the Dubai International Airport. It was also behind the successful implementation of the facilities to handle the pre-clearance of the US-bound passengers at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The company is among the nine prequalified for the $100 million project for Bahrain Airport’s new terminal. Nine companies were selected out of the total 35 that bid for the project as main contractors. A decision is due by July by the Bahrain authorities.
The Abu Dhabi-based company currently has two offices in the region – Doha and Casablanca – and it plans to open an office in Sultanate of Oman by the end of this year and in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next year.
About the allegations by US airlines about Gulf airlines getting government subsidies, he blamed some international airlines for giving their governments a wrong picture.
He remarked: “It has been proved that the vision of Gulf leaders about aviation has been well placed and the success story of Gulf is due to massive investments in the aviation industry and its advantageous geographical location which is just eight hours away for two-thirds of the world population. Excellence of service more or less does not exist anymore in the West. They can succeed now only when they excel in the services offered to passengers both in the skies and on the ground.”
He said the future of aviation in the Gulf region is “bright” with the aviation remaining a vital strategic player in the growing regional economies, especially in the UAE where it almost contributes to 25 per cent of the GDP.
The world’s largest annual airport event, Airport Show, attracted over 300 exhibitors from 40 countries for its 15 edition run at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
The show has over 300 exhibitors from 40 countries. The three-day show has 12000 square meters of exhibition space.